Puttin' the 'Well' in 'Well Water': How to Tackle Iron Bacteria in Your Well Water
What is Iron Bacteria and Why is it a Problem?
Iron bacteria is a type of bacteria that can live in well water and is composed of two main types: ferrobacillus and leptothrix. These bacteria feed on iron and manganese and secrete a slime, which can cause staining, odor, and clogs in your pipes and appliances. In some cases, this slime can even cause the well pump to fail. Iron bacteria can also affect the taste and smell of the water and can cause a metallic taste.
Iron bacteria can be problematic because it can cause staining and corrosion, leading to costly repairs. It can also cause foul odors in the water and can lead to clogs and blockages in the pipes. Iron bacteria can also reduce the effectiveness of water filtration systems, leading to poor-quality water.
Identifying Iron Bacteria in Well Water
The first step in tackling iron bacteria is to identify whether or not it is present in your well water. The most common way to do this is to have your water tested for iron bacteria. A water testing professional can do a quick test to determine the presence of iron bacteria in your water. The most common tests used to identify iron bacteria are Total Coliform and E.coli tests.
In addition to water testing, there are other signs that you can look for that can indicate the presence of iron bacteria. These include discolored water, brown or yellowish-green stains on sinks and fixtures, and a metallic taste or smell to the water. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to have your water tested to determine the presence of iron bacteria.
How to Identify Iron Bacteria in Toilet Tank
In addition to testing your well water for the presence of iron bacteria, you can also test the toilet tank for the presence of iron bacteria. To do this, you will need to remove the toilet tank lid and look for a slimy, orange or brownish-orange substance in the tank. If this is present, it is likely that you have iron bacteria in your toilet tank. Another way to test for the presence of iron bacteria in the toilet tank is to fill the tank with a solution of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap and then flush the toilet. If the solution turns orange or brownish-orange, it is likely that iron bacteria is present.
Causes of Iron Bacteria in Well Water
Once you have determined that iron bacteria is present in your well water, it is important to identify the source of the bacteria. There are several potential sources of iron bacteria in well water, including groundwater, surface water, and groundwater run-off. Groundwater can become contaminated with iron bacteria due to the presence of iron-containing rocks and soil. Surface water can become contaminated due to runoff from fertilizers, septic tanks, and other sources.
In addition to these sources, iron bacteria can also be caused by a lack of water treatment. If the well is not properly sanitized, iron bacteria can quickly multiply and contaminate the water. Poor well design and construction can also lead to the buildup of iron bacteria in the well water.
Treating Iron Bacteria in Well Water
Once you have identified the source of iron bacteria in your well water, the next step is to treat it. There are a number of treatments that can be used to treat iron bacteria, including filtration, aeration, chlorination, and oxidation. Filtration involves passing the water through a filter to remove iron bacteria and other contaminants. Aeration involves bubbling air through the water to reduce the levels of iron bacteria, and oxidation involves adding a chemical to the water to oxidize the bacteria. It's important to discuss all these options with a water treatment professional to ensure you're choosing the option best for your water.
Prevention of Iron Bacteria in Well Water
The best way to deal with iron bacteria is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. This can be done by properly sanitizing the well and maintaining it regularly. Regular maintenance and sanitizing of the well can help to reduce the levels of iron bacteria in the water and prevent it from becoming a problem.
In addition to sanitizing the well, it is important to ensure that the well is properly designed and constructed. Poorly designed and constructed wells can lead to the buildup of iron bacteria in the water. It is also important to ensure that the well is kept free of debris and sediment, as these can provide a breeding ground for iron bacteria.
If you need help identifying or treating iron bacteria in your well water, contact us today! We can help you get your well water back on track. 1-888-292-5901